It is with great pleasure that I return from my first tour in Windsor. I was invited to be a guest speaker by the ACFO, RDEE Ontario, and CFDC.  Recently, this region has been going through difficult times in the car industry and has been hit by the coming “closure” of the Radio-Canada station (CBEF) and the cancellation of the French radio show “Bonjour le monde!” (French only). After the cutbacks over the past two decades, the station has gone from roughly thirty employees in the ‘90s, to two journalists. There is only one thing to say: it’s a catastrophe. If a community is not represented in the newspapers, on TV or on the radio, it can’t convince its youth to preserve their language, neither can it avoid assimilation. This is why I support wholeheartedly the public opposition to CBEF’s closure. 

I sincerely hope that the CBC/Radio-Canada’s directors understand the dramatic impact their decisions have on the development of this historic community. Established in 1701, the Francophone community has labelled itself the oldest West of Montreal.

Like every tour, I met with students from Lajeunesse French-language high school. I enjoy talking to them even if sometimes it is hard to convince them to speak French amongst themselves. The teaching staff has all my respect.

I had the chance to visit Place Concorde, which was recently acquired by Boréal. As far as I can remember, I have never seen such a nice community centre. One of the things I will take with me is the outstanding dedication of the volunteers when the administration reoriented the purpose of the centre a couple of years ago. They succeeded in raising approximately $380,000 within the community in less than six weeks. What an accomplishment! I wish good luck and a long life to Place Concorde and its owners.

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